Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mafalde Corte with Zucchini

I cannot believe that I bought zucchini! After eating so many from my garden I thought that I would not want to see them for at least six month, instead...I discovered that I missed them!
And since I don't have a veggie garden here in Valcamonica, I have to buy my veggies!
These are the first zucchini of the season, probably from some hothouse, but at least they come from Italy, not a far away country. I decided to try another of the Garofalo pasta (since so many Italian bloggers talked about it) and I though that for my dish this format, mafalde corte, would work well. And it did!!!

500 g pasta
Rock salt for the water.

for the sauce:
4 zucchini
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salted water from the pasta (very important ingredient, read more later)
Freshly grated pepper (optional)
Freshly chopped Italian Parsley

Wash and cut the zucchini and saute in a large pan with the garlic and olive oil. Stir often, the zucchini should not burn! They actually contain quite a bit of water, so if you turn the heat down you should be able to cook them by themselves for about 15 minutes (as long as you stir often!!). Start cooking the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water, and keep your pot near the zucchini pan. When the zucchini finally start to dry up ad stick to the pot add a first ladle of water from the pasta.

Now, using the salted and starchy water from the pasta is normal in Italy, it is used to thin sauces, add taste, and even salt (since the pasta's water is usually very salted). But if the pasta is of very good quality, if it is a type that takes longer to cook, and it the sauce is white or green, rather that red (i.e., pesto, cheese, zucchini and other green vegetables, rather than tomato based sauces), the cooking water from the pasta becomes, in my opinion, the best ingredient you can add to it - and most people outside Italy don't know it!!!

I find it particularly suited to the zucchini, because it gives them a kind of creaminess...like butter. Basically all you have to do is to add a few ladles, one by one, of pasta's water, always simmering very gently, and stirring often. Taste for salt, and if you like add some freshly grated pepper. At the end add some chopped parsley, drain the pasta and stir into the zucchini pot, and serve.

It may look simple from the photo, but this was one of the best tasting zucchini pasta I had made, and my daughter, who is very attentive to flavours, asked me if I had put butter in it!
I swear it tasted like it had lots of butter, instead nothing: just salted water from the pasta!

Photos by Alessandra Zecchini©


  1. Ah, zucchini! One thing I loved in Italy and France too was that the zucchini flowers were so fresh that I could stuff and fry them too, no waste! Can't remember if I told you my friend dicovered the greens were called Agretti, aka Salsola soda, aka Barba Di Frate, do you know them?

  2. Che bella pasta!Ho a casa anch'io le mafalde corte garofalo :)

  3. I alkso love courgettes as we call them here in Belgium!

    What a tasty pasta dish! Yummm,...

  4. What a beautiful pasta dish, Alessandra. You are so right, the first of the zucchini is the best. I love the pasta you chose for it; the zucchini looks like it's being cuddled in clouds.

  5. I used to call them courgettes too, Sophie, while I was living in the UK. But in NZ everybody call them zucchini, except for the older people.

    Some people even calls me Zucchini! (see my surname!)

    FYI, in Italian is zucchine
    and my surname is Zecchini :-) (totally different meaning!)

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. I like so much zucchini too !
    Thank you for the tip (water), I'll keep that in mind for next time !


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Related Posts with Thumbnails